Russian army choir dances for peace in Ukraine
The Russian army choir has appealed on Kiev authorities to bring peace to their conflict-torn country and restore friendly ties with Moscow by donning Ukrainian clothes and performing the trademark dance of Ukrainian Cossacks.
The Alexandrov Ensemble, the official choir of the Russian Armed Forces known internationally as the Red Army Choir, released a video clip showing its dancers perform the Ukrainian gopak, a head-spinning sequence of acrobatic feats involving jumps and squats.
In a tongue-in-cheek gesture, the clip is called "Moskals dance gopak," using a pejorative term for a Russian.
The video shows male dancers in red baggy trousers, red boots and waistbands and their female partners wearing flower wreaths spinning on stage and stretching in the air.
"There are borders that we have ourselves invented," says a line running across the clip.
Another line, in Ukrainian, adds: "It's better to dance than to fight." The video footage ends with a shot of the Russian and Ukrainian flags tied together.
"This is a kind of appeal of the legendary ensemble to the brotherly people with a call for peace, a musical gift to Ukraine's new president Petro Poroshenko," the defence ministry said in a statement sent out to Russian reporters on Tuesday.
The video was released as Russia and the West are scrambling to come up with a plan to end nearly two months of fighting in the east of the ex-Soviet country that has pitted the two Slavic nations against each other.
In April, the Alexandrov Ensemble released a song glorifying the troops in unmarked uniforms who took control of Ukraine's peninsula of Crimea ahead of its annexation by Russia.
The video of the latest dance can be viewed at http://www.redarmychorus.ru/news/moskali_skachut_gopak/
© 2014 AFP